A backpack full of rocks…

Imagine wearing a backpack completely full of different kinds of rocks. A backpack that you aren’t able to take off no matter how hard you try.

You walk around with the backpack and are constantly thinking about the rocks individually. You know exactly each rock and how it ended up in your backpack.

People say things to you like “it’s easy to take the backpack off”, “Stop being so dramatic it’s just a backpack”, “You’re not the only person with a backpack, you need to get over it”, or “You need to go out and do more, you’ll feel better”.

The backpack never leaves though.

It isn’t easy to take the backpack off because the straps are locked on too tight.

It isn’t “just a backpack” it’s a backpack full of rocks.

You aren’t the only one with a backpack but this backpack is full of rocks that you can’t set down and you can’t forget about.

Going out and doing more means you bring the backpack along.

This is one of the many metaphors I use to explain to people who don’t understand the the difficulty of letting go of my anxiety and depression.

One of my goals of 2021 is to help educate others about anxiety and depression. We don’t understand what we don’t know.

For those of you with Anxiety and or Depression – I see you and you are not defined by your anxiety/depression, it is only a part of you. You are among friends here who are aware of what you are going through.

For those who do not have anxiety/depression – I am here to help you understand what others in your life are going through and how you can help them carry their backpacks.

Acknowledge the struggle others have.

The world is starting to open back up so let’s continue to open our minds and hearts to each other.

Day 37 – Rising Up

April 29th 2020

I woke up around 5am with a positive attitude this morning.

I grabbed my lunch that my husband made for me, protein coffee shake, my giant water bottle, and had a bit of a pep in my step.

I got in the car and decided it was a good day to do a motivational VOX to the Slayers – it helped get me ready for the day too. Keeping my chin up and a smile on my face while I drove to work.

I arrived at work and I did my daily sanitizing of the common areas and surfaces and was getting all the garments in the lineup for production to arrive in an hour.

While I was working I was jamming out to Pandora “Today’s Hits” Playlist – and I was posting to my snap story some of my favorite bops.

Today was also when I would start my drinking water daily challenge. Last time I was at the doctor they recommended that I put rubber bands around the water bottle and every time you finish one you take a rubber band off. So today is the first day and I am ready to go!!

When Texas in screen printing arrived we still didn’t have the usual guy who coats the screens… so it was time to step up.

Texas showed me what to do – and told me to practice just on one screen for now – if it worked out well I would do the rest.

I DID IT!!!!!!!!! Texas said I did the screen 100% perfectly. I was so thrilled that I had finally felt useful. I only coated 6 screens, but Texas said that it was just enough to get him through the rest of the week.

I wrapped up the day on such a high note, and I even had 2 of my water bottles throughout the day! I was feeling 100%!

When I got home I wanted to keep the momentum going so I immediately changed into my workout clothes and put on a youtube HIIT workout video.

I only went 16 minutes but I was still proud of myself for moving around. I sent the Slayers a pre and post workout selfie. I was sweating pretty good!

Day 36 – Just getting through the day

April 28th 2020

Woke up at 4:50am – made my coffee – took care of the doggies – kissed my husband goodbye – grabbed my lunch – and headed to work by myself.

I arrived at work and was all alone for over an hour before anyone else came in. It was me and 2 other people there the entire day – until later in the afternoon when one of the owners came in. I had my lunch from my husband and heated up the omelet to enjoy for lunch.

During the day I found out that the screen printer was backed up on screens for decorating more orders. Since we have a limited crew he has had to clean screens, shoot screens, setup and take down on his own all day. He is okay with those things, but he doesn’t coat the screens well – and that’s where the true bottle neck was.

No one was coming in soon to help but we tried to get a hold of our regular coworker who takes care of that. I told him that if no one comes in tomorrow I can learn how to coat the screens and help him where I can.

I left at 2:30pm on the dot. Hopped in my car and drove straight home. When I got home I went upstairs, changed my clothes, got in bed, and watched TV. Perry Mason, Matlock, and RIDICULOUSNESS.

The Slayers group collaboratively decided to do daily check ins for our daily goals to keep us on track. I texted with the Slayers and twin has been CRUSHING her daily goals. I am so proud of her! I didn’t even make excuses for my daily goals not being done – I just didn’t do them. I flat out said I was being a lazy POS.

I went downstairs once for food but then went right back up and went to sleep.

I cannot shake this funk I am in. My motivation is at an all time low. There is absolutely nothing pushing me to even try to check anything off my to-do list. Where is this coming from? Where did my happy-get up- and – go personality disappear to? Typically I feel bad when I’m unproductive, but lately I have given up and just don’t care.

Tomorrow is another day back – there isn’t enough work for more people to come in – so I’ll be all alone again.

Day 35 – Push it real good

April 27th 2020

Awake just before 5am to get myself ready – Coffee, lunch, hat, and sneakers. Out the door to go pickup LittleSister/CoWorker.

It was very early for the both of us – definitely trying to pump each other up as much as we could!

When we got to work we immediately started getting everything ready for the production staff. Between checking in, saving logos, finding proofs, and sanitizing everything, we were able to get a good head start in the hour we were there before everyone else.

Big day for pushing out orders – we packed almost 8 webstores to make sure we could get them out to the families who have been waiting over a month for their items. It felt great to be busy, and to accomplish as much as we did in that 8 hour period.

Z mentioned that I would be continuing work tomorrow even if I was by myself with production. I said okay that was fine by me – and he said to keep working. Wait… Did he say to keep working the rest of the week? Or was he just saying to work tomorrow and then we’ll see? A little confusion there….

After I dropped of LittleSister/CoWorker I headed home and was feeling beat. I was up so early, constantly moving my body around at work, and the weather was crap outside.

When I arrived home all I wanted to do was curl up and go to bed. I was talking to my husband about that – and he suggested I give myself a little time to relax, but then we would go for a walk with the dogs together.

After a little bit of down time I forced myself out of bed and grabbed the leashes, plastic bags, and the boys.

We ended up going for over and hour long walk! It was windy and I was in the worst mood ever – but my patient husband assured me that it was okay to feel how I was feeling.

Once home I was glad that we went out – I needed to move my body around.

My husband made dinner and he even made me an omelet for work for the next day! He even put it inside a lunch box for me and labeled it for me to take in the morning.

I went upstairs to bed to check in with the Slayers and felt better talking with them.

I fell asleep to RIDICULOUSNESS – tomorrow is going to be another early day!!

Day 34 – Prepping for Tomorrow

April 26th 2020

Woke up after 10am like a lazy sack of bones!

Called Z and we discussed the plan for going back to work tomorrow and that LittleSister/CoWorker and I would go in an hour earlier than everyone else so that we could get everything checked in for production – and make sure they had everything ready that they needed for the day.

After that I went downstairs and had breakfast with my husband and we talked about what my week was going to look like. Again it was going to be only 2 days – Monday and Wednesday/Thursday.

I also talked on the phone with my bonus father-in-law about painting the kitchen. I wanted to get ride of the white and brown – the white looked dirty and the brown was drab. He gave me a lot of great pointers on what shades to use and how to tape certain areas off and add accents!

After doing 3 loads of laundry it was already mid afternoon and we needed to get going on our walk with the doggies!

We went for an hour and 47 minutes!!! We stopped at the playground with the pups again (NO BUSH JUMPING THIS TIME) and went a little further around the park to explore some different neighborhoods that we haven’t seen before. We also took the trail through the parkway and Bernie and I climbed some of the rocks down by the river.

Both doggies did such a great job on the walk – all of us were totally wiped when we got home. I ate 3 bowls of cereal! I don’t remember the last time I had a bowl of cereal… I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for eating an entire box of cereal!!

I took a shower and tried to make a video about my nightly routine. I was not happy with it though – and decided to delete it.

I watched TommyBoy with my husband and when it was over I prepped my lunch and backpack for work the next day.

I wanted to relax and ease my mind about work. I couldn’t help being anxious lately about work. I kept thinking about not having a job in a few weeks. Is there going to be enough work for me? I’m going in an hour earlier than everyone tomorrow – I need to make sure I have everything ready. Masks, thermometer, sanitizer, and disinfectant.

The days are starting to get boring and my productivity around the house is ZILCH. I’m starting to feel useless during this entire pandemic.

How is everyone else feeling? What have you been doing to give yourself hope during all of this?

Day 33 – The Perfect Date

April 25th 2020

Woke up at 3:40am and could NOT get back to sleep. I was trying to relax, read, anything, but my mind was racing.

I went downstairs to make some coffee and to spend some more time writing out some of my internal frustrations. I couldn’t let go of my anxiousness.

I chatted with twin for a little bit when she got up and she gave me a little push to get a few things done on my to-do list. Mostly laundry and cleaning around the house.

Finally my husband woke up and came downstairs to tell me that he was in a “promo battle” for wrestling.

OBVIOUSLY we will be making a video today!

We had a very long nice breakfast together. Working through some schedule changes, expectations of each other, and discussing a few goals for the next couple of months.

I blogged for a couple more hours – then he told me he was ready to get to it with his video.

After a few hours, many different takes, and editing the bloopers, he was ready to post!

We had the HHH Zoom call with my dad’s side of the family and I was PUMPED for this call. I was ready to chat with the fam about all different kinds of things! Seeing my cousins from all over the place was fun too. From Maine to Oklahoma to Washington, and everywhere in between. All my cousins were wearing their Belafonte shirts too!! What a great surprise that was.

After the call my husband and I were ready for some movies and hangout time!

We cozied up on the couch together and decided to watch some Mandalorian!

We stayed up until about midnight watching the show – talking about the characters – talking about some of our future plans – and just relaxing.

My positivity has been slipping. My energy is low. I’m not excited about a lot of things lately. I don’t know what is happening to my inner self. There is a need for something more. A desire. What is it?

I was hoping to get the garden beds done – but it was raining. Even if it wasn’t raining was I still going to do it? Where is my motivation?

The slayers are doing awesome things and getting a lot done… and I’m over here making excuses.

What is and when will my tipping point be?

Day 32 – Blogging & Blah

April 24th 2020

Woke up completely unmotivated to do anything. Lounged around with the dogs for a couple of hours in bed on my phone, and then made coffee and decided to blog.

Writing always helps me release a lot of the tension I have building in my head. Writing a simple poem, or an entire blog post keeps my sanity. Words are a fulfilling way for me to express myself. I’m not particularly a great artist through painting or singing, but words have always been an easy flow for me.

I wrote all the time in high school and college – random thoughts or stories – and I’m glad I have found that passion again.

As I was blogging and going through emails and text threads I saw a post on Facebook from one of my sorority sisters that she has a miscarriage. I was so heartbroken for her – but her vulnerability to put herself out there was encouraging! It also prompted me to reach out to her on the side and follow up with how she is doing, how her husband is doing, and if she needed anything.

It was nice to chat for a little bit – even if the reason the conversation started was because of a loss. It was nice to reconnect on a level that was deeper than a thumbs up or a “haha”.

There was something inside of me that was hurting as well. I needed to keep writing to get my mind focused on positivity.

Hours of blogging and still not finished!

It was time for a snack….

I bought the licorice at Ray’s the day before – and it reminded me of my friend TK from High School. I tried to text him a photo of it but it said that the number was a landline!! What?!

I decided to try to call to see if he had changed his number for some reason… He answered! He said he DID receive the photo of my licorice.

ANOTHER great conversation with someone I haven’t talked to in a very long time. My love tank was full!! We chatted for a good 45 minutes about random stuff here and there, a few memories, his dad, his mom, my parents, our houses, significant others, and everything in between!!

It was starting to get late and my husband was in the other room watching the second day of the NFL draft. He was talking with a friend on the phone so I decided to head upstairs for bed and watched the additional interviews of the people involved in the show TIGERKING. It was pretty good! It wasn’t as in depth as I thought it was going to be, but it made me want to drive down to Oklahoma and punch Joe Exotic in his ear with all the piercings so make it really sting!!!

I had a text from Z about going to work on Monday – there were a lot of packages that arrived that need to be checked in. That made me feel a little better… I get to go back to work on Monday!!

I was really missing my mom. I wanted to drive to her house and give her a hug. I was debating doing that but decided to stay home and send her a couple of silly memes in a text instead. It made me chuckle, and reminded me that we’re all in this together.

Is there anyone in particular that you are missing the most? Or an activity that you miss the most? Are you able to find different avenues to fill that void during this?

Day 31 – Bush Jumpin & Draft Day

April 23rd 2020

Woke up and had breakfast with my husband – and then we did a bit of tidying around the house. It was also NFL DRAFT DAY! My husband was excited to have something of normalcy in our lives. Even if it was something that was on TV.

I also worked on my audition routine – trying to make my moves crisp and precise.

For the fun of it – we did a promo with his wrestling character and how he was a previous football player and might get drafted this year. It was HILARIOUS! He did such a great job of putting the story together and executing it.

After that we needed to get going on our walk since we didn’t want to be late for the draft!!

On our walk my husband and I were reminiscing about weird activities we would do in high school with our friends. He told me about “BUSH JUMPING” – it was from the early days of the show JACKASS and him and his friends would do it all the time. You would find a random bush – introduce yourself – and then jump into/onto it. I decided that I would be totally down for something like that!

Below is a little bit of my bush jump in photo format….

SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We walked for an hour and 20 minutes! Stopped at Ray’s for our daily dose of adult beverages too. When we arrived home it was time to turn on the draft and to make some dinner.

Where is my phone?

We looked everywhere for my phone – my backpack, my purse, my husband’s backpack, jacket pockets, pants pockets… no where.

There could be only one place the phone is…

IN THE $&%*ing BUSH!!!

We hopped in the car to race to the park and sure enough… my phone was laying right in the middle of the bush nicely placed on some branches! WHEW! I lucked out on that one…

Back home to see the draft and to make dinner.

While my husband was enjoying the draft I clicked on the TV to see what was on Netflix for my next bingeworthy show. I found WACO.

If you haven’t heard of it – it’s about a hostage situation in WACO, Texas that went on for over a month with negotiators and the leaders of a cult inside of the commune.

I highly suggest the show – it makes you angry and sad all at the same time – while explaining the story inside and out of what happened. I’m sure there is additional in depth explanation of both sides of exactly the actions and requests, but I thoroughly enjoyed the psychological aspect of it. (DUH! OF COURSE I DID!)

How the mind works, and how people hear things or are being told things. The interesting parts of how actions, perceptions, and intentions form.

If you’ve seen WACO – what are your thoughts on how the FBI pursued the final decision? Do you think the cult leaders were going to agree to their end of the bargain? Whose side with the FBI negotiators were you on? The war leader, or the phone callers?

Day 30 – Don’t Rush – Again

April 22nd 2020

No motivation to get out of bed – it’s not even sunny outside.

I had been texting with the Slayers and came up with an idea to do the Don’t Rush Challenge but in reverse. So we’d start out with our “going out” look and then a remote would be thrown to us and we would think “nah” and get in our cozies and watch tv! HAHA!

My husband helped me film all day – and it was a really cool idea – we did a LOT of different takes. We had way too much fun with the camera and getting the moves and tosses JUST RIGHT! Let’s just say I took a remote to the face too many times!! See a few of the candids below!!

I was very motivated after the first portion of the video that I decided to work on my audition tape for the BUCKS DANCERS.

It has been a dream of mine that I have always wanted to be a dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks. I was on the PomPom team in high school, and was interested in the dance team in college, and many other forms of school spirit dancing. I love it! The energy of the girls around you, pumping up the crowd, kick lines, sassy moves, the works!

I started to work on my Audition Tape for the next couple of hours – nothing finished – but it felt liberating to be swinging my arms in formations and rhythmic patterns. I even decided on my song!

I was working so hard on my routine that I did not pay attention to where I was in relation to other stationary items in the basement… I hit my hand SO HARD on the rafters on the ceiling during one of my jumps!! I bruised my hand instantly and decided it was time to ease up for the day.

Back upstairs for some food and thirst quenching – I was starting to sweat pretty heavily after that workout!

Then some drinks and hangout time on the couch with my husband. Fell asleep together watching a movie and snuggling.

Day 29 – Second Day Back

April 21st 2020

Up and at em! Time to get LittleSister/Coworker and get our butts to work.

Driving to work I played some Iggy for us to jam out to and get us pumped to finish up the orders for the day to get out.

When we pulled in the parking lot we put our masks on and entered the building.

Spent the morning working on emails, purchasing garments, writing up orders, and checking apparel into the lineup for embroidery and screen print.

Lunch time was leftovers 🙂

After another long day wearing a mask, washing my hands between opening boxes, and isolation we packed up and left.

I dropped LittleSister/CoWorker off I went home to see the boys.

We stuffed our backpacks and headed out for our daily walk – 1hour and 24 minutes. It was nice to clear my head after another day of uncertainty.

When we arrived home I was distracted in my own thoughts.

I worked 2 days – it felt like I was in a dream – I was AT work, but only with a couple other people. Then I was doing my work, but there were no customers. I was answering emails, but only fielding questions, not taking in new orders.

Will I still have a job in a week? Will new business start to come in? All the unknown is starting to settle in my head and my anxiety is starting to rev up.

Where do I go from here? When will I work next? Nothing makes sense and I’m just going through the motions during the day, but is this going to be the new norm?